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Elsevier Business Intelligence taps Outsell Scout Analytics to maximize subscription revenue

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Elsevier Business Intelligence provides subscription information products to biopharma and medical device professionals. Its paid content brands include Health News Daily, Medtech Insight and The Pink Sheet.

Like most b-to-b media and information companies, Elsevier BI is looking to maximize its revenue from existing customers as well as first-time buyers. The company had analyzed customer data it garnered through its customer relationship management system, but it wanted more results.

Elsevier BI said earlier this week that it is now using Outsell Scout Analytics, which employs a software-as-a-service offering designed to help digital paid-content providers increase revenue by analyzing subscriber behavior. Outsell Scout Analytics is a partnership between Outsell and Scout Analytics.

“Outsell Scout Analytics is helping us understand the relationship between engagement and revenue, essentially identifying potential pricing disparities in our subscriber base,” Gerry Stoia, president of Elsevier BI, said in a statement. “This gives us the ability to align the right license to the right subscriber to create the right value.”

Matt Shanahan, Scout Analytics' senior VP-strategy, said that his company begins with an ROI model analysis with trial clients. Scout Analytics takes confidential figures provided by the client and analyzes the data to see what potential returns they could have based on the size of revenue, the number and kinds licenses they have, renewal rates and packaging and pricing approaches.

Based on the information Elsevier BI provided, Outsell Scout Analytics determined that the company could improve its subscription revenue by 10% to 20%.

Elsevier BI, of course, has just started with Outsell Analytics. Adam Gordon, VP-e-strategy and development for Elsevier BI, said that while the company hasn't been able to gauge a percent increase for revenue yet, it has already captured a few important results. “We have identified some customers who were potentially abusing their contracting or license user segments,” Gordon said.

He also said that Elsevier BI was able to identify a company whose usage is much higher than the norm and make strong adjustments from there. “We could find out what that company is doing or what we're doing with that company that is resulting in greater usage and get [additional revenue from] all the other companies in that segment,” he said.

It also already showed them an example of where an area of the financial services sector was generating more revenue than an area of manufacturing. This has led Elsevier BI to consider an adjustment in packaging that favors the financial services sector.

In 2011, Gordon said that Elsevier BI will continue to focus on unauthorized use. He also said that he anticipates that after six months, the company will have a good idea how much additional revenue Outsell Scout Analytics is helping to generate.

Gordon said that new customers for a single-article sale can end up spending 10 to 40 times their initial purchase within a six-month period. He's interested to see what the new analytics software can tell him about maximizing the revenue from this kind of customer.

“Being better able to see what they do when they purchase the article, and how they navigate what they're interested in, [we] can potentially better tailor the marketing to get them to upgrade to a subscription,” he said.

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